- The league has created an Officiating Advisory Council that will include former NBA player and coach Doug Collins; retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of USA Basketball and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Arne Duncan, the former U.S. Education Secretary; ex-referee Steve Javie; and Kenny Smith, a TNT analyst and former NBA player. Together, they will help determine the future of NBA officiating.
- The NBA will increase its pool of 63 referees by 25% within three years, including 10% next season, with a more global and diverse approach to sourcing and hiring – meaning the possibility of international refs calling NBA games.
- Enhanced training for referees through technology, including virtual reality.
- Introduce new scheduling system for referees aimed at reducing travel and back-to-backs and allowing crews to work consecutive games together.
To be clear, the NBA believes it has the best officials in the world. But like many things, there is room for improvement.
“They are doing a great job at it, but they can improve and that’s their mindset,” Spruell said. “It’s the way we go about relating to them as well as what programs are we putting in place to continue to make them better. … The profession is demanding. What they do to get calls as accurate as they do is amazing.”
Blah, blah, blah.
You want fans to believe you’re truly interested in improving officiating? Make these 7 simple changes:
1. Officials will no longer be influenced by a player’s talent level when deciding to assess a foul or violation.
2. Officials will no longer be influenced by a team’s record/success or the home court crowd when deciding to assess a foul.
3. The result of a play will have no bearing on whether a foul is called (i.e. waiting to see if a field goal attempt is made before blowing the whistle).
4. LeBron James will no longer be given absurd preferential treatment, nor will he be permitted to whine after every non-call without punishment.
5. A 4th official will be added to the game crew.
6. Game officials will no longer handle reviews. Each game will be assigned a “replay official” who will monitor the game and make decisions in a timely fashion (within 30 seconds) and relay his/her ruling via radio to the head official.
7. Scott Foster has been terminated.
I’m dead serious.
Preferential treatment is the biggest problem with NBA officiating. Aside from Tom Brady negotiating a few roughing-the-passer calls, it’s a problem you really don’t see in other sports. David Ortiz didn’t have a strike zone 3 inches smaller than every other player. Don’t get me wrong, the other sports have problems too (NFL with it’s absurd catch/not a catch rules/MLB with its egomaniacal umpires) but the NBA takes the cake.
Oh, I almost forgot. Call traveling.